31 July, 2009

Sukarno was the first President of the Republic of Indonesia. Born in 1901 in Blitar, East Java, he was a key nationalist leader against Dutch and Japanese occupation. Sukarno was extremely popular among Indonesians, so much so that he himself became a symbol of Indonesian independence. He was a gifted orator and passionate about Indonesia taking a proud place in world history and events. He proclaimed Indonesian independence on 17 August, 1945 with Mohammad Hatta, who became his vice president. He declared the suspension of parliamentary democracy and the system of Guided Democracy, which was more centred on the president in 1959. Sukarno started getting closer to the PKI during the period 1963-65, and he increasingly vocally opposed western imperialism. Following the 30 September Movement he refused to ban the communist party. This made him an easy target for the military and anti-communist student demonstrators who blamed the PKI for the movement. General Suharto moved to gradually take power from Sukarno. Through the Letter of Instruction of March 11 in 1966, Sukarno reluctantly handed over some powers to General Suharto to ‘restore’ order to the country. He was formally replaced as President in 1967. He died on 21 June, 1970, under house arrest.

LEGGE, John, 1972, Sukarno A Political Biography , London: The Penguin Press.

Ensiklopedi Tokoh Indonesia,

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McGregor . Katharine E, Sukarno, Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 31 July, 2009, accessed 17/02/2021,, ISSN 1961-9898
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